The town is very much the holiday destination for Morocco's more wealthy city dwellers. With long beaches and a more relaxed atmosphere, it makes a welcome relief to the hustle-and-bustle of the larger cities inland. However, the fancy promenade and buildings are crumbling, and it seems the town cannot catch the same fresh development wind like Essaouira. The latter should be preferred, if you have the choice.
The town's other economy is its fishing industry. Also, the town has remains of Portuguese buildings and the Cistern, which however are fairly limited attractions.
- 1 Train station (Located not very conveniently for tourists, 3 km away from the city.). El Jadida is on the Rabat-Safi railway line.
Getting there/away: A taxi costs 15 dirham (Jan 2018). Arriving passengers can encounter problems with getting to the city in case there are no available taxis, in this case it can require walking to the nearest city suburb.
From specific destinations:
- Casablanca – ONCF trains depart from Casablanca's Port and Casablanca Voyageurs train stations, every 2 hr, the trip is around 1½ hr. Train from Rabat takes 3 hr.
- Marrakech – There are about 8 trains per day, travel time 6 hr.
There are 3-5 buses a day from Agadir (6 hr, 140 dirham) and Essaouira (11:30 & 13:00, 4½ hr, 80-90 dirham), hourly buses from Marrakech (4 hr, 50 dirham), and a couple of buses a day from Rabat, through Casablanca.
- 2 Gare Routière (CTM Station). 06:00-21:00. Poorly maintained but central station, where all local buses (including CTM ones) arrive. CTM agency is located right inside the station.
El Jadida is quite spread out along the sea front. It probably takes an hour to walk from one end of the centre to the other.
Plntiful of taxi and several bus lines.
- 1 Portuguese fortress (Manzagão, Mazagan). The World Heritage listed Portuguese town from 16th century. A great spot for a stroll, as well as a go-to point for photographers. There is a circular walk on top of the city walls. Free entrance.
- 2 Portuguese cistern. 09:00-13:00, 15:00-18:00. Built in 1514, this former warehouse (possibly an armory) was converted into a cistern in the sixteenth century. It's famous especially for the thin layer of water that covers the floor, and which creates fine and exciting reflections. Several movies have been filmed there, of which Orson Welles' Othello is the best known internationally. 60 dirham.
- 3 Beach (Deauville Plage).
- 4 Sidi Bouzid beach (5km away from El Jadida). Popular among locals and thus gets packed during summer months. Plenty of restaurants.
- Relax in one of the restaurants or cafes in the town. Especially if this is towards the end of your trip, as it is for many. You'll find this town far more chilled than Marrakech or Fez.
- Experience true Moroccan city life without the hassle, noise and glaring social inequity of Casablanca. Expect not to be bothered by anyone.
There are a few souvenir shops in the Citadel.
A few more 'western-style' restaurants along sea front, north of town centre.
Mint tea is available at the massive cafe in the centre of town, down the main road from near the entrance to the Medina.
- If you have sleeping bags or a tent ground sheet, sleeping on the beach is possible. You may wake up damp from the salt spray though. There is also a campsite at the North East end of town, located about 5 min walk from the large roundabout near the sea.
- Dar El Jadida, 7 Rua Joseph Nahon, El Jadida, Marrocos (By walk or by taxi), ☏ . A cheap B&B ruled by Massimo, an italian guy. Nice rooms, private bathrooms, and a panoramic terrace. Includes breakfast. US$25.
- [dead link] Riad Harmonie, 5 Derb Moulay Ismail, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Riad Harmonie is a guesthouse run by a lovely French couple who live on the spot with their two kids. The riad was opened in 2011. This place has a cozy and very friendly atmosphere and the owners speak very good English. Located within 10 minutes of a slow walk to Cité Portugaise. From US$50.
- Casablanca – This modern city by the sea is a starting point for visitors flying into the country. If you have the time, both the historical medina and the contemporary mosque (the second largest in the world) are well worth an afternoon.
- Rabat – The capital of Morocco; very relaxed and hassle-free, highlights include a 12th-century tower and minaret.
- Safi – The nearest big town to the south.
- Essaouira – An ancient sea-side town newly rediscovered by tourists and far more beautiful than El Jadida. From mid Mai to August the beaches are packed (kitesurfers, beach people, etc.) but any other time and you'll be the only person there. Good music and great people.